Saturday, November 13, 2010
Review: Goldeneye 007
I told myself today, "You cannot play anymore Goldeneye until you write the review. Stop neglecting your duties!" Well, here I am because dammit, I wanna play.
Where do I begin though? Goldeneye 007 is a re-imagining of the film with some elements borrowed from the Nintendo 64 classic. Note I didn't say it was a remake of anything because a remake this is not. I wont dive into it much for why this isn't a remake but a few reasons off the top of my head... here that goes. You wont find the classic multiplayer maps, nor some of the 64-based weapons, and the plot of the game itself doesn't entirely match the film. That last one said, luckily they hired one of the original writers of the film to write the script for this game. The story actually makes enough sense to not bother me personally and I'm a huge fan of the original film. It's my favorite Bond film in fact. I have a slight bigger issue with the cast changes but only because I love Pierce Brosnan and I miss Robbie Coltrane (who played Valentin). Any sane person however should be able to get over this and enjoy what the game is really about, being a fun FPS on the Wii.
The single player mode was something I was looking forward to just as much as the online multiplayer. From the first level through till the last one, I was completely engulfed by the presentation. There is a lot of effort here to immerse you into the role of Bond. While the first level, the classic Dam, has a lot of scripted segments, the rest of the game doles out these moments sparingly so that they don't become overwhelming. They pretty much always add to the experience. I loved the way that the EMP blast was done and how the final Cradle battle was handled. I played the game initially on the easiest mode, which does include regenerating health, but the fourth and final difficulty level borrows the health bar and health pickups of the 1997 Nintendo 64 title. Purists quit your bitching! Hurrah! I did play the highest difficulty level in the form of their Time Trials... and well my experience so far has been less than pleasant. It's insanely difficult, for me anyway. You have to pretty much run past every enemy in order to traverse these lengthy levels in typically under 10 minutes (not including the cutscenes). To me, that's not fun. I would have preferred either they make the time restrictions a bit more lax, or just changed it somehow that I can't think of. I don't find it fun when a game about being stealthy and accurate as Bond should be, becomes just how well you can be a bullet sponge without dying. Not fun at all. That's okay though because when I got frustrated with that, I just hop online and get frustrated some more... in a good way.
You'll come for the single player and stay for the online multiplayer. Matching up with random people works exceptionally well, with the exception of hosts quitting mid-match. Luckily that's not that often. Matching with your friend-code friends works pretty well too. The only downside is the somewhat awkward invite system. It works, but it just doesn't work perfectly. There's a great selection of maps to play and I having loadouts is unique. I suspect this might be an old feature for the FPS genre but still, it's pretty new to me. The only downside is that when you're just starting out, you wont have a loadout with neat gadgets or bonuses yet you'll battle someone who will. It's not a match-breaker though. If you're good, you're good no matter what. There's also a lot of different types of matches from your classic Conflict and Team Conflicts to the more unique ones like Heroes and the Black Box. It's been sucking my time like crazy the past eight-nine days. Part of the drive to keep this addiction up is the fact that the game utilizes a points earning system to unlock more modes and weapons and bonuses. Sometimes it feels like leveling up takes too long, but I guess I wont know until I continue. I'm around level 15 right now, and I know that some stuff wont unlock until level 52 or so... that'll take a long long time of online battling. I haven't played any off-line multiplayer but I would assume it's not much different. However, there is split-screen multiplayer. I don't really have the need for it anymore because my gaming friends have all since moved away or quit playing. Still, I really appreciate that they put it in there regardless.
One last thing I want to say is that the version I purchased was the one with the Gold Classic Controller Pro. I've never owned one and while I never did play this game with that controller (I used the Wii Remote + Nunchuk combo) I love the controller. It looks great, it feels great. It's not any cheaper getting the bundle versus buying a controller separately but it is the only way to get a gold colored one. If you haven't yet purchased a classic controller, I really would recommend getting one this way. If you already have one though, it's probably not worth it. I wont be using it for Goldeneye but you better believe I'll be using it for my VC and WiiWare purchases.
Simply put; You should BOND with this game because it will BLOW you away. Well, I hope it will. It's a very solid shooter for the Wii with controls that are rather customizable in an almost Conduit quality. Lots of variety and it'll excite any Goldeneye-lover assuming they don't have a stick up their ass expecting something that was made thirteen years ago.
What I liked:
Brings Goldeneye to life in ways the 64 game couldn't. Online is very addicting! Production values are high.
What I didn't like:
Online can be unfair slightly. Music isn't as iconic as the 64 game, but blame that on nostalgia. Time Trial mode, while appreciated, is way too difficult for anyone but the most serious first-person shooter gamers.